Kudos to Billy Fried for his insights into decency and decorum (“The Season of Incivility,” June 29). My reaction, in no particular order, was:
I thought I could keep my cool, despite the overheated rhetoric and truly bad behavior building daily. I’m one of 7 million people who watched a 34-second video last week capturing a womanscreaming, “Rapist, animal and drug dealer” at someone with brown skin truly saddens me. If only she had bothered to ask, “Where were you born?” She would have discovered he was born in the U.S. and graduated from California State Polytechnic University at Pomona last year.
So what’s driving this woman’s rage and hatred? If I knew, I probably would run for president.
The fact is our beloved country is in the middle of a seismic shift, one that is equal to the colossal fissures caused by the Vietnam War. I ought to know. I “won” the first draft lottery when I was a senior at USC in 1969. For those keeping score, it took this nation decades to get over Vietnam. I can’t even begin to guess how long it will take to heal today’s wounds.
It truly is heartbreaking to watch how people are treating their neighbors now. I couldn’t help but notice Billy ended his recent column with a nod to Burt Bacharach and Hal David. I’m ending this letter with apologies to Julie Covington and “Don’t cry for me, Argentina.” Maybe it’s time for some new lyrics, as powerful as the original ones once were.
“Don’t cry for me Argentina./ The truth is, I never left you./ All through my wild days, my mad existence,/ I kept my promise./ Don’t keep your distance./ And as for fortune, and as for fame,/ I never invited them in./ Though it seemed to the world they were all I desired,/ They are illusions, they’re not the solutions they promised to be./ The answer was here all the time./ I love you, and hope you love me./ Don’t cry for me, Argentina.
Denny Freidenrich, Laguna Beach